Apple devices, such as iPads and other iOS devices, have a reputation for strong security. But adding VPN to your tool kit can help add an extra layer of privacy to your online activities. Not only that, but a VPN can help you access geo-restricted content from abroad, keep you safe while using public WiFi and help you keep access to all your favorite sites and services while traveling.
A virtual private network (VPN) runs all the traffic from your iPad through an encrypted tunnel to a server of your choice. This not only keeps your data secure but allows you to change your IP address and spoof your location giving you access to geo-restricted content. However, not all VPNs are primed to give the best experience for iPad users.
Our experts have tested and gathered the best VPNs for iPads and iOS devices. In this article, we’ll explain how to set them up and how to download a VPN if it doesn’t have an App in the App Store. We’ll go into plenty of detail about each of the VPNs we recommend later on, but if you’re short on time, here’s a quick summary.
The best VPNs for iPad:
- NordVPN: Our top pick for an iPad VPN. Excellent all-rounder that pegs excellent speeds and works with iOS 9 or newer. Large server network and strong privacy and security features. 30-day money-back guarantee included.
- Surfshark: Best budget VPN for iPad. A security-focused VPN with decent speeds, a no-logs policy, and the ability to unblock plenty of geo-restricted services abroad.
- ExpressVPN: iOS 7 or newer apps in the App Store. High-speed servers tuned for streaming, downloading, and circumventing geo-blocked sites. Tight security and privacy features. Keep no logs.
- CyberGhost: Beginner-friendly VPN with easy-to-use apps and fast service. Privacy and security are solid. Vast server network. Works well with iPad and iOS devices.
- IPVanish: High privacy and security standards. Good speeds for streaming. Allows unlimited connections.
- PrivateVPN: User-friendly iOS app. Fast speeds and reliable unblocking of streaming services. Excellent support and a strict no-logs policy.
- Private Internet Access: Works with iOS 12.1 and newer. Good speeds and unlimited simultaneous connections. Strong security.
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The best VPNs for iPad: at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for iPad.
|Website||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||ExpressVPN.com||Cyberghost.com||IPVanish.com||PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for iPad||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming reliability||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Good||Good||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||39 Mbps||Popular Sites Unblocked||95%||88%||86%||85%||70%||85%||Simultaneous Connections||6||Unlimited||5||7||Unlimited||10||Total number of servers||5,700+||3,200||Undisclosed||7000+||2,200+||200+|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.19|
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The best VPNs for iPad and iOS devices
There are plenty of VPNs on the market, but they don’t all provide the same level of service. We’ve curated our list of the best VPNs for iPad based on the following criteria:
- Easy-to-use iOS client available in the App Store
- Support for multiple versions of iOS
- Don’t keep logs of users’ internet activity
- Fast speeds
- Strong security features and encryption
- Work well for streaming content from such platforms as Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime
You can read more about how we test and rank the VPNs we recommend in our methodology section below. For now, let’s take a look at the ones that made the cut.
Here is our list of the best VPNs for iPad (or any iOS device):
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice for an iPad VPN. It performs better than most of its rivals in our speed tests and offers great features for iPads and other iOS devices. The app is easy to install and use and has an extensive, global network of VPN servers to choose from. As an added bonus, NordVPN allows P2P traffic through their VPNs without limiting bandwidth, so it’s popular for torrenting. The company accepts Bitcoin, which is a bonus for privacy.
A single subscription allows you to connect up to six devices at the same time. If you want a value-for-money option with plenty of servers, good privacy protection features, and excellent streaming potential (for Netflix and other sites), then Nord is a stellar choice as an iOS VPN. NordVPN has recently been able to evade China’s Great Firewall and works in other countries which actively block VPNs, including the UAE.
- Excellent speeds, the fastest VPN we’ve tested
- Great option for iOS 9 or newer devices
- Offers secure, encrypted connections at all times
- Major emphasis on security and privacy
- Works with a wide range of geo-locked sites
- Offers 24/7 live chat
- Can select location of servers, but not specific servers
BEST VPN FOR IPAD:NordVPN is our #1 recommendation. Extremely fast and a top performer in all categories. Good iOS device support. Has strong security features and allows up to 6 devices to be used simultaneously from one account. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee making it risk-free.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a low-cost VPN with over 3,200 servers in 100+ countries and an easy-to-use iOS app that hides plenty of advanced features. This service can securely access major streaming platforms like Netflix US, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer, plus it’s fast enough to stream live HD video with no noticeable buffering. This VPN has no connection limit, so it’s ideal for families or people looking to secure lots of devices at once.
This service takes user security very seriously. Your traffic is secured using effectively uncrackable 256-bit encryption, as well as IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection. There’s also a kill switch (in every version) that immediately stops all traffic whenever you lose connection to the VPN unexpectedly. Surfshark doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, although you can sign up almost completely anonymously by paying in Ripple, Ethereum, or Bitcoin. 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat.
Surfshark offers iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux apps. It also works with supported routers, although these must be configured manually.
- No connection limit
- Strong security and no-logs policy
- Fast enough to stream live HD content
- 24/7 live chat available
- Accepts Cryptocurrencies
- Occasional slow server
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark offers an unlimited number of connections, multi-platform support, and excellent streaming ability, giving you the freedom to access whatever you want, wherever you are. It also comes with powerful security features and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN‘s app will run on iOS 7 and newer. It can be installed on iPhones, iPads, and even the iPod Touch. The company operates VPN servers in 94 countries and does not limit your bandwidth or the number of times you can switch servers.
One of the best features is their logging policy, stating that they don’t keep records of your traffic while connected to their servers. They also receive some bonus points for accepting many different payment methods: all the major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and others.
ExpressVPN is fast, great at protecting user privacy, and works with apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and BBC iPlayer. It will also work in countries like Turkey and China, where many other VPN services have been blocked.
- Performed well in our tests for iOS 7 or newer devices
- Doesn’t log any data that can identify you
- Fantastic speeds for downloading and streaming
- Hard to beat on privacy and security
- 24/7 knowledgeable customer support
- Not the cheapest option on this list
- Streaming servers aren’t labeled
GREAT UNBLOCKER:ExpressVPN offers a great iOS app. Optimized for high-speed connections. Scores well for streaming and evading censorship. Excellent privacy and security. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost makes a slick, friendly VPN app that allows you to choose a server not just based on location but based on how you plan to use the VPN. For example, the app has separate lists of servers for streaming, gaming, or P2P filesharing, taking out the guesswork that comes with most other VPNs. Perfect for streaming on the go with an iPad.
CyberGhost has ramped up expansion and now boasts one of the largest server networks with over 9,000 servers in 90 countries. Every connection is protected by 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an optional kill switch that halts all internet traffic should the VPN connection drop. The provider keeps no logs of your online activities while connected.
- Runs on all devices with iOS 9.3 and higher
- Strong security and privacy
- Minimal configuration required
- Impressive streaming and downloading speeds
- Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
- Doesn’t reliably work in China or UAE
- Better suited to beginners than power users
VALUE AND PERFORMANCE:CyberGhost is easy to use. Beginner-friendly choice. Good on privacy. Streams HD video reliably. Generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a no-logs VPN service that utilizes effectively uncrackable encryption and a zero-logs policy to ensure both privacy and security. Features like unlimited P2P traffic, anonymous torrenting, a SOCKS5 web proxy, and unlimited server switching are just the beginning. IPVanish lets you connect all of your devices simultaneously with unlimited bandwidth. IPVanish owns and operates its own servers rather than renting them, as is the status quo, ensuring you can always find a fast, uncongested connection.
While not as adept at unblocking video streaming sites as others on this list, IPVanish is a favorite among Kodi users thanks to its easily navigable interface and ability to work with any Kodi addon. If you need an iPad VPN to use with Kodi, IPVanish is a top contender.
- No connection limit
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Very fast speeds
- Works well with Kodi Devices that require an iPhone or iPad VPN
- Will only run on devices with iOS 10+
- Apps don’t work in China
CONNECT ALL OF YOUR DEVICES:IPVanish has a strong network of servers and handles multiple connections well. Easy to use and preferred by users who need high standards of privacy. Good streaming ability and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has an excellent, easy-to-use iOS app that you can use with your iPad. With it, you’ll have access to PrivateVPN’s servers in over 60 countries. Furthermore, you’ll benefit from its fast and unthrottled connections for lag and buffer-free streaming in high resolution. What’s particularly impressive about PrivateVPN is that it has strong accessing abilities and works with Netflix, Disney+, and more.
This VPN operates a strict no-logs policy. Indeed, it doesn’t even keep basic connection logs. All of your data is 256-bit AES encrypted, while there’s also DNS leak protection and a kill switch feature. For anonymous signup, you can use a burner email and pay in Bitcoin (be sure to use a Bitcoin mixing service beforehand). PrivateVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections and has 24-hour support.
Aside from its iOS app, PrivateVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. It’s also possible to manually configure PrivateVPN to work with select wireless routers.
- Excellent unblocking of streaming services
- Beginner-friendly apps (including iOS for use with iPad)
- Strong privacy protection through its no-logs policy
- Much smaller network of servers
- No browser extensions available
STREAMING-FRIENDLY:PrivateVPN is ideal for streaming on your iPad thanks to its fast speeds and powerful unblocking. Very easy-to-use apps (including for iOS). Strict no-logs policy and quality customer support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Private Internet Access has an iOS app that is compatible with iOS 12.1 and later versions. This easy-to-use VPN service provides good speeds and won’t throttle your bandwidth. As such, you can use it to stream your favorite TV shows while traveling abroad. Indeed, it can even securely access Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.
With just one PIA account, you can secure as many devices as you like at the same time. Your subscription also comes with access to live chat and email support. This VPN provider doesn’t keep any logs, making it a great choice if you’d like to be able to browse anonymously on your iPad. PIA has a strong security offering with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection included.
PIA has one of the largest server networks out there. It provides apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. You can also find Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. However, if you wish to use it with a router, you’ll need to set up the connection manually.
- Absolutely no bandwidth throttling so you can stream lag-free
- Connect unlimited devices at the same time
- Highly secure with encryption and a kill switch
- Doesn’t work well in China
- Struggles with some streaming services
EASY TO USE:Private Internet Access couldn't be simpler to use on iPad thanks to its iOS app. Good speeds coupled with unlimited bandwidth. Secure unlimited devices simultaneously. Uses encryption to keep data secure. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Private Internet Access review.
Methodology: How we find the best VPNs for iPad
There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, but they are not all the same. This can make picking a VPN tricky. At Comparitech, we pride ourselves on giving consumers reliable advice. We have developed a fool-proof, scientific VPN testing methodology, which you can check out at length. Below we have included the most important features we looked for when recommending the best VPNs for iPad:
- Apps for all platforms. A useful VPN should allow you to gain robust security, privacy, and online freedom on a wide range of devices. To ensure the VPNs we recommend are versatile, we checked for an iOS app that works on iPads and iPhones. We also looked for reliable apps for Windows, macOS, and Android.
- Global server network. Useful VPNs have far-reaching server networks with a wide choice of servers. This allows you to gain better speeds no matter where you happen to be and allows you to change your IP address and spoof your location to a number of different countries and regions. As a result, you can easily bypass local blocks, censorship, and geo-restrictions.
- Advanced privacy features. We check each of the apps to see what kind of feature set you get. To ensure you get superb value for money and reliability, we look for features like a kill switch, obfuscation, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, SOCKS5 proxy, and Smart DNS.
- Robust security. We check each VPN to ensure that the encryption is robust and future-proof. We also test the VPN for IP and DNS leaks to ensure it is not giving users a false sense of security.
- Outstanding customer support. We recommend VPNs that have active customer support teams with both email and live chat support. Our recommendations also have set up guides, FAQs, and blogs on their website to help you with setting up and using the VPN.
- Excellent accessibility. We check that the VPN’s servers work with popular services like iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+. This allows us to recommend VPNs that are at the top of their game when it comes to accessibility.
How to setup a VPN on iPad
If this is your first time using a VPN, then you might find it helpful to see how to get started. Below is our simple step-by-step guide to iPad VPN setup.
Here’s how to set up a VPN on your iPad:
- Visit the App Store on your iPad and search for your chosen VPN provider. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Download the VPN provider’s app making sure to get the right version for your device.
- Once the download is complete, navigate to the app on your device.
- After opening the app, choose and connect to an appropriate server. If you are looking to access specific content, then choose a country where the content is available (for example, you would need a US server to gain a US IP address and access American Netflix from abroad). However, if you are simply looking to improve your online privacy, then any server in your home country will achieve this.
- You are now connected to the internet through an iPad VPN!
What to do when there is no iOS app
If you don’t want to use the provider’s app, or if your VPN service doesn’t come with an iOS app, there is a VPN tool built into iOS that can be manually configured to connect to your VPN provider’s server of choice. It’s a fairly straightforward setup, but you will need the following information before you begin:
- Supported protocol – listed as “Type” in iOS
- VPN server address
- Your User ID and password
- If a certificate is required, you will need to get the certificate from your VPN provider
- Proxy details, if any
- Or just the URL of the proxy server
Then, simply get into your Settings app and follow these instructions:
- Scroll down and tap on General, then scroll down and tap on VPN.
- Tap VPN Configuration to get into the configuration settings.
- Choose the most secure protocol that the VPN server supports. OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 are preferred, but L2TP is almost as secure. PPTP has been proven to provide very weak encryption but provides a faster connection if speed is more important than security.
- Give the connection a description so that you will know the provider as well as the server that it will connect to. Then you will need to enter the server address provided by your VPN service provider. If a certificate is required, then the provider will have one ready for you. (NordVPN is one that provides a certificate for the IKEv2 protocol only. However, NordVPN’s iOS app uses OpenVPN by default for supported versions of iOS, so you’re better off simply using their app instead.)
- If there’s no certificate option, you will need to enter your username and password. For Authentication, select Username and enter the details below. Your VPN provider will also have a shared secret key for you to enter. Make sure you get it from the provider’s manual VPN configuration instructions.
- Finally, if you have to connect to the internet through a proxy, then you should already have the proxy information. If you don’t know what this is, then leave it off. Tap the blue Done button at the top right of the screen.
- You will now have a VPN slider as well as the VPN description listed on this screen. Simply slide the switch to the on position and watch to make sure the connection is successful. When the status shows “Connected”, you’re done. You can now surf privately and securely.
Note that manually setting up an iPhone VPN this way will encrypt your internet traffic and hide your IP address, but you won’t get many of the other useful features found in the apps, like kill switches, leak protection, and automatic public Wi-Fi protection.
How to connect several Apple devices to the VPN at the same time
Apple junkie? No problem! All of the iOS VPNs we recommended above allow for several simultaneous connections, so you can connect your iPhone, iPad, Macbook, and anything else in your house to the VPN at the same time. This is also useful if you share your VPN subscription with family or roommates.
Here are how many devices you can connect on each VPN with a base tier subscription:
- NordVPN: 6 simultaneous connections
- ExpressVPN: 5 simultaneous connections
- Surfshark: unlimited simultaneous connections
- CyberGhost: 7 simultaneous connections
- IPVanish: unlimited simultaneous connections
- Private VPN: 10 simultaneous connections
- Private Internet Access: unlimited simultaneous connections
If that’s not enough for you, you might consider configuring the VPN connection on your wifi router or setting up a VPN-enabled hotspot with a Windows virtual router. A wifi router only counts as one device, and you can connect as many devices to it as you need and route them through the VPN. This also works for devices that don’t intuitively support VPNs, such as Apple TV.
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, we recommend ExpressVPN’s pre-configured VPN routers. ExpressVPN makes the best VPN-enabled router firmware in the market. You will need an ExpressVPN subscription to use it, however.
Otherwise, you can configure a VPN on your own with a compatible router. Some routers come with firmware that supports VPN connections, and others don’t. If your router doesn’t support VPNs, look around to see if you can replace the firmware with an open-source alternative like DD-WRT or Tomato.
Note that you should use extreme caution when flashing new firmware to a router. Using firmware that’s incompatible with your exact router model or making a mistake during the flashing process could brick your router and leave it permanently damaged. The exact process varies from router to router.
Best VPN for iPad: FAQs
Why do I need a VPN for my iPad?
It doesn’t really matter what device you’re using to access the internet. When online, if you want to…
- hide your internet traffic from your internet service provider
- use unsecured, public Wi-Fi for any type of secure communication
- add an extra layer of security for online communications
- access to any content that is geo-blocked
- access your online banking services safely from abroad
… then you need a VPN on whatever device you use to get online. Fortunately, you have a variety of options and price ranges to choose from.
Can I use a free VPN for iPad or iOS devices?
A bunch of supposedly free VPN apps for iOS are listed on the App Store that aren’t actually VPNs. Hola is one such “service”. Instead of connecting your computer to a VPN server, Hola connects your computer to a community-powered P2P network to provide supposedly anonymous internet access. The problem here is that the actual provider has no direct control over any of the nodes in the network, as each node is a privately owned computer of one of its 55 million members. The lack of strong encryption makes your traffic vulnerable to interception or inspection by any node, and, worst of all, your internet bandwidth is sold to third parties who may or may not also have access to your computer’s resources through Hola’s software. This has all the makings of a botnet and should be avoided at all costs.
Tor does something similar but uses very strong encryption and does not sell anyone’s bandwidth. Tor’s software also does not grant anyone else access to the resources of the device that it’s running on or make your device available to anyone else for any kind of misuse or abuse.
Finally, most of the supposedly free VPNs include features that most users will want to avoid. Things like injecting advertisements into your web browser traffic, using weak or even no encryption, selling your personal information or detailed logs of your internet activities to third parties of their choosing, and even installing unwanted software on your devices, like adware, viruses, trojans, botnet clients, and other forms of malware.
How do I use the Netflix iOS app with a VPN?
As you may know, Netflix has implemented an overseas VPN ban that prevents users abroad from accessing US, UK, and Canadian content through the Netflix iOS app. While there are a few VPNs that are not affected by this ban, only three on our list are compatible with the Netflix app on iOS devices: NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost.
Will a VPN drain my iPad's battery?
Every single app will consume some of your iPad’s battery life. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that VPNs don’t have a particularly high power requirement. That’s because they’re simply encrypting your data and routing it through a server somewhere else in the world.
Every device (and VPN service) is different, which makes it quite difficult to say how much of an impact your VPN will have. Generally, you can expect a drop in battery life of at least five percent, with some estimates going as high as fifteen, though this will depend on the level of encryption you’re using, if there’s additional obfuscation on top of this, and whether you’re also using the VPN app to scan for malware.
Can I use a VPN on my iPhone?
Yes, you can and should use a VPN on your iPhone. Although Apple devices are pretty safe, their security is never 100% so it doesn’t hurt to double up on your protection with a VPN.
Plus, you use your iPhone on the go, perhaps connecting to unsafe public, school, or work wifi networks or taking it with you when you travel, putting it at added risk. So using a VPN for iPhone makes good sense.